After literal years of waiting, Bayonetta 3 finally launched for the Nintendo Switch at the end of October. For many, the game stands as one of the finest action titles every released and builds on what the first two games accomplished with their respective gameplay mechanics.
According to Imran Khan (former Senior Editor at Game Informer), however, the game was originally planned to be much broader in scope when compared to the final product, and was supposedly meant to be open-world. Khan states that the design would draw inspiration from PlatinumGames' previous Switch title Astral Chain and would feature an open-world hub world from which Bayonetta would visit various locations:
"The design was going to draw more off Astral Chain than Nier Automata, but the idea was that a large hub world would send Bayonetta (or whoever else) to different worlds which would themselves be fairly open. Maybe Super Mario 64 would be a good reference point for this. There was a lot of work and experimentation on this idea, but it kept falling apart when it came to pacing, and eventually Nintendo wanted them to scale back. It was, I hear, also not particularly well-performing on the Switch hardware either."
When you consider that Bayonetta 3 struggles on occasion with its frame rate and resolution as it is, we can certainly believe that a fully open-world version of the game would have had heaps of trouble running adequately on Nintendo's hardware. Khan goes on to state that the final product still hints towards a more open-ended experience, with its main hub world being broken into smaller, bite-sized segments:
"There’s still a lot of vestiges of the semi-open world design in the final game. The hub world, Thule, is broken up into smaller pieces that Bayonetta and Viola navigate to get into the next major world. The chests were redesigned a bit to be searched for in larger areas and provide a lot more variety to make use of the environment. Even the various weapon transformations were going to play into traversal a bit."
We certainly took notice of the larger environments ourselves, too, stating in our glowing review for the game that "level design has seen a noticeable shake-up this time around, with much bigger and more open spaces to investigate". If you want to read some more of our thoughts on Bayonetta 3, then be sure to check out our full review: